Can Food Help Fight Cancer
UW Health nutritionist, Donna Weihofen, RD, MS, CD is often asked whether a diet, food or a supplement will help cure cancer or prevent it from recurring.
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According to Donna, it makes sense that what you eat to prevent cancer may help in decreasing the risk of cancer recurrences. What we do know is that:
- The food you eat can increase your body's ability to fight cancer and survive
- The food you eat can decrease your risk of developing some cancers.
However, there is no evidence that any special diets or that any single food will cure cancer or prevent it from recurring. In fact, diets that exclude or limit some food groups may be harmful.
Choose a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
Although there are many controversies in the area of food and nutrition, there is total agreement that fruits and vegetables are the number one cancer fighters.
Choose the most colorful for the highest amounts of cancer fighting phytonutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The word phytonutrient or phytochemical comes from the Greek word "phyto" meaning plant. There are thousands of chemicals in plants. Some are well known but there are many more that have not yet been identified. Some of the plant components have important roles to play in promoting good health. We certainly don't understand how they all work and we don't have enough information to recommend specific amounts. But what we do know, is that fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and even tea are loaded with cancer fighting phytonutrients.
All fruits and vegetables have healthful nutrients but some of the highest in antioxidant power are in season right now:
Healthy Recipes: Chunky Gazpacho Garden Soup
Enjoy a meal that is as delicious as it is good for you. And, it's a perfect way to use those tomatoes that are at the peak of ripeness right now. You can also alter the recipe to include any fresh vegetables you have on hand.
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6 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1 medium green or yellow pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 can (46 ounces) tomato juice or tomato vegetable juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 8 hours. It will thicken slightly from the vegetable pectin.
Add additional Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Thin with additional tomato juice if desired. Serve cold
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Fat, gm. 5
Protein, gm. 3
Carbs, gm. 29
Cholesterol, mg. 0
Fiber, gm. 3.3